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Konstantinou, Nikolaos; Kölbel, Tilo; Debus, Eike S.; Rohlffs, Fiona and Tsilimparis, Nikolaos (2021): Fenestrated versus debranching thoracic endovascular aortic repair for endovascular treatment of distal aortic arch and descending aortic lesions. In: Journal of Vascular Surgery, Vol. 73, No. 6: pp. 1915-1924

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Background: Cervical debranching, followed by thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR), is well-established for treating aortic arch lesions. However, total endovascular repair with fenestrated endografts has not been adequately studied. Thus, we performed a comparison of the two techniques. Methods: The present study was a single-center, retrospective study comparing the treatment of thoracic aortic lesions with custom-made fenestrated stent-grafts (fenestrated TEVAR [fTEVAR]) with a single fenestration for the left subclavian artery (LSA), a scallop for the left carotid artery, and hybrid repair with a thoracic stent-graft and cervical debranching of the LSA. Emergency cases were excluded. Results: From 2012 to 2018, 19 patients (58% male) underwent elective fTEVAR (group A) and 17 patients (82% male) underwent debranching TEVAR (dTEVAR;group B). The mean age +/- standard deviation in group A was 65.8 +/- 2 years and 68 +/- 3 years in group B. Left carotidesubclavian bypass was performed in 15 of 17 patients (88%) and transposition of the LSA in 2 of 17 patients (12%) in group B. The two groups were comparable regarding comorbidities, except for peripheral arterial disease: 5 of 19 patients in group A (26%) and none in group B had had peripheral arterial disease (P=.049). Dissection or post-dissection aneurysm was the indication for treatment in 6 of 19 patients in the fTEVAR group (group A) and in 12 of 17 patients in the dTEVAR group (group B;31.6% vs 70.6%;P=.04). The indication for the remaining patients was a degenerative aortic aneurysm. Technical success was achieved in all cases, except for one case of dTEVAR owing to a type Ia endoleak. The mean endovascular operative time was 191 +/- 120 minutes for fTEVAR and 130 +/- 75 minutes for dTEVAR (P=NS). The mean operative time for the debranching procedure was 181 +/- 97 minutes. No deaths or major strokes had occurred in the early postoperative period (30 days). Of the 17 patients in group B, 5 (29.4%) had experienced a local complication related to the debranching procedure. The mean follow-up was 14.6 6 2 months for group A and 17 +/- 2 months for group B. Of the 19 patients in group A and 17 patients in group B, 2 (10.5%) and 6 (35.3%) had required an unplanned reintervention related to the thoracic stent-graft during the follow-up period, respectively (P=NS). The estimated freedom from unplanned reintervention at 12 months was 86% for group A and 81% for group B. Primary patency of the LSA stent-graft or the carotidesubclavian bypass/transposition was 100% in both groups. Conclusions: Both techniques showed excellent midterm patency rates for the target vessel and high technical success rate. The operation times were shorter for the fTEVAR group and complications related to the debranching procedure were avoided.

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